Eagle: Patrick Bailey

Eagle Court of Honor
February 3, 2001

This is truly an amazing time. Look around you. Everyone came here to honor a young man, for the achievements that he has accomplished. Family, friends dignitaries, and people that have benefited from his efforts, all came to his Court of Honor, because of him. It is truly amazing.

What is most amazing is that what he did was for himself. Sure, everybody here benefited from it. His parents have the pride in knowing that their son is an Eagle Scout. That is something to be proud of. His troop benefited from his leadership. His friends benefited from the help he gave them. Alvirne High School and the town of Hudson got the dugouts repaired and re-roofed. The Boy Scouts of America benefits from having such a fine example of an Eagle Scout. Nevertheless, the truth is, he did it for himself.

He gets to wear the badge of an Eagle with pride. That pride is something that you cannot truly understand, unless you are an Eagle also. I am sure that his family is quite proud of him. I know that he has a boot print from his father on the back of his badge. He has mine on it, too. However, the fact still remains… he did this for himself.

Every Eagle Scout does. It does not make them less of a man because they did something that selfish. It actually shows how much they really care for everyone else. Let me explain.

If I were to tell you that I would give you $86,400 every day, would you be happy? What if I told you that you could do with whatever you want, but whatever was left after 24 hours, I would take away? You would spend as much of it every day as you could.

That is what happens. Every day you are given 86,400 seconds, no more, no less. At the end of the day, whatever you didn’t get the most of is gone. You cannot save it, store it, or retrieve it… it is gone. Eagle Scouts know this. Look at the people around you. Who are the busiest people that you know? Are they happy? I am sure that they are, because they are spending their 86,400. Eagle Scouts do this; they just do it a little differently. Most of us would spend that on ourselves. In the process of doing something for themselves, however, Eagle Scouts evolve in a way we can only look at in awe. They begin to cheerfully give away their 86,400 to others. What a gift… to give of their own time that they can not get back, ever, just because it is what an Eagle Scout does. Sure, Patrick was selfish in earning his Eagle. He gets to wear a patch. Big deal. More importantly, he gave us a gift of his time in the process. His patch and pin are worth a few bucks. How much of his 86,400 did he give to us for this patch? Who is selfish now?

Maybe that is why time is referred to as “past, present and future”. You cannot change the past. The future has not happened. However, you can give away your time, and that is truly the best present. So, thank you, Patrick. Thank you to all of the Eagle Scouts. Your selfishness has been a great present.

Congratulations Patrick on this accomplishment. I know how difficult it has been. Congratulations to your parents. Your efforts to help him achieve this award has it’s own reward. Your son is an Eagle Scout, and gives of himself cheerfully.

Leave a Reply